Monthly Archives: April 2013

You lying sack of…

I can’t remember now what chain of idle Facebook clicking led me to this video, but I’m glad I found it. This is Gerri Di Somma, pastor of Carmel:City Church, as well as Carmel:Christian School, Carmel:Bookshop, and other subdivisions of Carmel:Centre. For some reason, his organisation is obsessed with colons, possibly because he is full of shit.

(Jargon translator: “praying in the Holy Ghost” means praying in tongues)

I want you to know that knowledge never helped me. Counsellors never helped me. The banks never helped me. Medical science never helped me. When I was confronted with a major crisis in my life, it was praying in the Holy Ghost that helped me.

This is fascinating, because my family was on holiday with the Di Sommas in 1999 when Gerri was faced with a cancer scare. Unless by “I prayed in the Holy Ghost”, Mr. Di Somma actually means “I underwent surgery”, then I’m afraid my recollection of events is rather different.

Read the rest of this entry

Jobs creationists CAN do (Guest post)

David Waldock is one of the most articulate commenters on this blog. His response to Monica Stringer’s defence of ACE was so comprehensive I didn’t bother to reply myself. David is an ex-ACE student, but he preferred not to write about his own experiences. Instead, here’s his analysis of where belief in Creationism will take you…

This was originally intended to be a comment on Jonny’s post “5 jobs a Creationist can’t do“, but after an extended conversation on Facebook, we thought my thoughts might be better presented as a post in its own right, extending the discussion.

First, I understand the position that Jonny is taking; all other things being equal, young earth creationism (YEC) is intellectually incompatible with many disciplines. However, there are doubtless people who identify as young earth creationists who are in those disciplines.

An example which springs to mind is nursing (I know of several nurses who believe in YEC), yet effective nursing requires acknowledging that microbes evolve in response to antibiotics. Does this mean these self-defined creationist nurses aren’t really nurses?

What I think is actually meant is that holding YEC beliefs requires one to perform intellectual gymnastics in some way, or to compromise one’s beliefs in order to function effectively within one’s chosen discipline. I note that Answers in Genesis explicitly give this advice:

“Because of the intense persecution and potential discrimination, some have chosen to keep their biblical views “under wraps” until they receive their degrees.”

What does this look like in reality?

Read the rest of this entry

Why fundamentalists don’t believe in atheists

It’s common for fundamentalists to assert “there’s no such thing as a true atheist”. Why would they say this? It seems to be in direct contradiction to obvious empirical evidence. It wouldn’t be the first time a fundamentalist has denied evidence, but what is the motivation for calling millions of people liars?

I think it’s because the existence of atheists is a threat to evangelical beliefs. I don’t mean that evangelical Christians feel threatened by atheists. I mean that, if the God evangelicals describe were real, there would be no atheists. Let me explain.  Read the rest of this entry

I quit

Happy birthday Leaving Fundamentalism.

It’s been a good first year for this blog, capped off by a successful past week. My post Five jobs a Creationist can’t do was the 23rd most viewed post on WordPress.com on Monday.


Screen shot 2013-04-16 at 12.12.41

This contributed to the blog hitting #6 on WordPress’s chart of fastest growing blogs:

Screen shot 2013-04-16 at 00.09.52I will be celebrating my success by retiring from blogging about ACE. Before I shut up on the subject, please read my last post. Read the rest of this entry

In defence of ACE

I’m in two minds about posting this. I feel that giving a platform to defenders of Accelerated Christian Education is like the BBC giving a platform to climate change deniers: It gives the impression that there is some debate, and I don’t think there is.

But, unlike ACE, I am confident enough in my position to let you read the words of people who disagree with me. ACE always censored the information I was allowed to read, and that’s why I have the policy almost never to censor comments on this blog.

It’s interesting, isn’t it, that the people who are against ACE are almost all former students, while the people who have come out to defend it have mostly been parents and teachers.

OK, I’ll make you a deal: You can read these as long as you also read the three ACE survivor stories immediately below. Read the rest of this entry

More ACE survivor stories

Tomorrow, I will be posting my last blog about ACE for the foreseeable future. I’ll explain why in that post. I will still be accepting guest posts on the subject.

Now seems like a good time to wrap this up with a few more ACE survivor stories submitted as comments on the blog. Immediately after this I’ll post a compilation of comments in favour of ACE.

Jennifer Hoy

My mother enrolled me into an ACE school in 6th grade. At first I liked it but as I got older I began to see how ridiculous the PACE system was. The paces were so outdated. Everything we were learning was supposedly through the Biblical perspective. We had to wear uniforms. The girls could only wear skirts or gouchos. No pants! The teachers were just members of the church. No formal training. Reading some of the other posts I have to agree that this type of set up was very isolating. The only good thing I can say is that it taught me to work well on my own. I graduated Valedictorian in 1989. I did not go to college. I was afraid to try because I thought they would laugh at my diploma! I am 42 and am still learning things that I should have learned in high school. I feel that I was robbed of my youth and education. I feel I could have been so much more in life. The school and all of it’s forced beliefs have affected me in so many ways. I am still a Christian but my views of what that really means has changed. I would never send my kids to this type of school. These schools are a waste of time.

James M.

Hi Jonny.

Just discovered your site today. I attended ACE schools in the US off and on from Kindergarten through 7th grade. The experience was, as you say, horrendous, and as an educational system, utterly worthless. I just wanted to add that in the schools I attended, the “office” model was not just used in the mornings, but was an all day long experience. There was no relief from this stifling arrangement save for a few 10-15 minute long breaks and the lunch hour. Occasionally, the “supervisor” would address the group, and we would turn around in our chairs to listen, but that was the only social interaction allowed while in the learning center. I’m curious as to what other kinds of work were allowed in your ACE experience.

I could go on for days about the horrors of ACE, but I’ll stop here. Thanks for this blog. I’m sorry you had to endure the nightmare that is ACE, but it’s comforting to know there are others out there who understand the abuse I endured under this asinine system.

Christopher (this one is longer but worth the read. It’s one of the most powerful survivor stories we’ve had. Trigger warning: sexual abuse)

Read the rest of this entry

Five jobs a Creationist can’t do

This blog is littered with absurdities from Accelerated Christian Education, some of them involving mythical beasts or the denial of basic physics. But does it matter how old the world is? On a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t make much practical difference how long you think our planet has existed. Why not let Creationists teach whatever they want?

If there are grounds for regulating what gets taught in private schools, it must be because of substantive harm to students. I argue that ACE causes this kind of harm. It limits children’s future, because if they do what ACE says, huge areas of study are closed off to them. In fact, this post would be better (but less catchily) titled:

Five subjects a Creationist can’t study

Read the rest of this entry

The Benefits and the Workings of ACE

This is a guest post. Another advocate of Accelerated Christian Education has come forward to give her reasons for using the curriculum. Monica does a great job explaining herself, so I’ll give you no introduction. Please read it and let me (and Monica) know what you think.

I am writing this as a person with over 20 years’ experience of working in Christian Schools and home education with ACE as a Supervisor (teacher) for a range of ages from 4-18 years. My degree was in Chemistry and Biochemistry so I have taught practical science in schools as well as the ACE Curriculum. I also had the privilege of spending two years as an inspector (not Ofsted) for ACE Schools as commissioned by Christian Education Europe, UK who provide the curriculum.

My two main aims in writing this are to clarify the use and aims of the ACE curriculum in ACE Schools in the UK and also to make it clear that every curriculum has underlying beliefs and values.

In fact, some years ago, I wrote an article which I published in a leaflet called, ‘Education is Not Neutral’. The idea that education consists of a curriculum package containing a body of knowledge which is passed on to pupils in a sterile environment is truly false. Every curriculum has an underlying worldview whether it is religious or atheistic. The Jews, the Moslems, Christians and atheists all want to pass on the beliefs and values of their particular worldview to the next generation. Read the rest of this entry

Back in the Guardian

I’m back in the Guardian.

I decided to get out the big guns this time. I uploaded scans of all the relevant PACE pages and linked to them from the text. Anyone who wishes to accuse me of misrepresenting the facts now has quite a lot of evidence to contend with.

This one hasn’t created quite the enormous splash on facebook that my last one did, so if you could share it with your friends (the Guardian link, not this blog post), I’d really appreciate it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2013/mar/27/fundamentalist-schools-accelerated-christian-education

 

I was wrong

After so long attacking Creationism, it’s troubling to have to admit that I’ve been wrong.

Jesus appeared to me in a dream last night, riding a Triceratops, and warned me that I was leading people astray.

I woke up sweating, and did some research. I’ve found some irrefutable evidence from Creationist sources.

dinosaurs with humans

So I have been wrong. And in the future, I will be blogging about Creationism. I only hope I can undo some of the damage.

Just think on this: If the world is billions of years old, why is it only 2013?

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